Monday, February 28, 2011

365 Day Photo Project Catch Up

With all of the excitement and good things happening in my life right now, I've fallen a little bit behind on my photo a day project.  Some days have been skipped but it is my full intention on making it through a complete 365 days.  So, to catch up on a few days, here they are!

Relaxed

Relaxed
February 25, 2011

Breakfast At Gravy

Breakfast At Gravy
February 26, 2011

Sweet & Sexy

Sweet & Sexy
February 27, 2011

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Update On The Manifesting!

I can't believe I almost forgot to update on the manifesting!

It turns out that my meeting with the manager wasn't an interview.  I was going in to accept the position and start the paperwork process!!  I'm back in at FedEx and couldn't be more excited!!

This means I'll have more time to focus on my writing and my photography!  Plus, I'll have benefits again!!!!!!!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Butch Stereotypes, Cliches, and Misconceptions - ButchLab Symposium v2


I love Sinclair Sexsmith's newest project, ButchLab.  Every few months she gathers all of the bloggers who wish to participate in a sort of writing carnival, a symposium, and gives a writing prompt for everyone's consideration.  The site gives the symposium this definition:

The Symposium is a cross between a blog carnival and a round-up, where participants write about a monthly topic and submit links to Butch Lab which are then recounted. Participants are requested to a) link to the Butch Lab Symposium in their post, b) reprint the roundup on their own blogs within five days, and c) commenting on the other participants’ entries would be an added bonus (let’s support each other eh?).

You do not need to be butch to participate, anyone is welcome to discuss their opinion.

The topic for the second Butch Lab Symposium is Butch Stereotypes, Cliches, and Misconceptions.

Here's the writing prompt:

What do people think “butch” means? What are the stereotypes around being butch? What do people assume is true about you [or the masculine of center folks in your life], but actually isn’t? What image or concept do you constantly have to correct or fight against? How do you feel about these misconceptions? How do you deal with them? Do you respond to these stereotypes or cliches? How?

My thoughts:

It’s interesting that the symposium is on this particular topic.  Specially since it’s been a part of my last few blog posts.  (Does Being Butch Mean I Want To Be A Guy?)  

As I’ve talked about before, being butch to some people just means I want to be a guy.  This is the most typical of stereotypes that I’ve come across.  Not just from the heterosexual community but from the LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer) community, as well.  The LGBTQ community tends to assume I am transgender, which translates to me as ‘wants to be a guy’.  So, essentially, because I dress in men’s clothes and have a buzz cut I must want to be a guy.  This is one assumption that certainly isn’t true of me and one that I feel as though I constantly have to correct.  Well, not necessarily have to correct but often times I do.

I do, however, like to pass as a guy and enjoy being called ‘sir’ when I’m out and about.  That hasn’t always been the case though.  I used to get really angry and embarrassed when it happened and would have these little fits of rage in my head telling off whoever decided to call me ‘sir’.  “Women can have short hair, too, and they certainly don’t have to wear women’s clothes, dammit!  Let go of your fucking stereotypes!”  It’s only been within the last couple of years that I’ve come to terms with this and have shifted my perspective in regards to this.  I like passing.  I like being gender fluid.  I love that I can move between genders in this world and I now smile when someone calls me “sir”.  It makes me happy.

Other assumptions that people make about me are interesting.  Because I’m butch I must be stone, always strong physically and emotionally, feel no emotions, never want to be touched sexually, always the top, never shy, always the aggressor, can fix anything, owner of many tools, threatened by a strong and independent femme and that I don’t embrace any part of my feminine side.  None of these assumptions are true for me. 

I am far from being a stone butch.

I have my moments of weakness both physically and emotionally.  I feel all kinds of emotions and most of the time I have absolutely no way of hiding them.  I wear my heart on my sleeve.

I definitely want to be touched, bitten, kissed, licked, penetrated and everything else when it comes to sex.  I LOVE being a switch and find it incredibly hot when a femme woman tops me. 

I am mostly shy and a bit oblivious to flirting.  Let me rephrase that.  I am mostly completely oblivious to flirting. 

It takes a shit ton (Yes, that’s a technical term. Because I said so.) of courage for me to ask someone out on a date but most of the time, if they say yes, I’m all over being the aggressor after getting past that initial question. 

While it’s true that I can fix a lot of things, I definitely can’t fix everything nor do I want to.  I am, sadly, not the owner of many tools, although I really would like that assumption to be true some day.  I like tools.  I like them a lot. 

I certainly am not threatened by a strong, independent femme.  As a matter of fact, I’m really turned on by them.   I mean, think about it.  A femme fixing things or building things, knowing how to use her hands and get dirty?  Yeah.  So sexy.  

As far as embracing my feminine side, I embrace all sides of myself.  Feminine, masculine, dorky, nerdy, silly, weak, strong, witty, serious, emotional, artistic, boi, Daddy, etc.  I am finally at the point in my life where I embrace and accept all of me.  Because, you see, I’ve finally realized that while I may or may not find my soul mate and be with her for the rest of my days here on this planet, I am definitely going to be with me so I damn well better start liking me.  Otherwise, it’s going to be a long road.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

365 Day Photo Project - Day 50

Snow Surprise

Snow Surprise

I woke up to this scene this morning.  The question now is, will I be able to get to work? 

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Manifesting

For the last year and a half or so I've been trying to get back into a job at FedEx Express.  I worked at the airport facility back in 2008 and LOVED it there.  I loved the job, the people, the pay, the benefits and the company.  It was a perfect fit for me.

Unfortunately, I was given an ultimatum at my then day job and I had to give it up for said day job.  The job I thought I was supposed to keep.  The one that made me miserable but made more money.  The one I quit just before starting this blog last September. 

Today, I received a call from one of the FedEx Express recruiting execs in Memphis and she set me up with a meeting at the airport facility with one of the swing shift managers.  There's a position open and I could have it after tomorrow afternoon!  My meeting is at 3:30 and it's with a manager I already know!  So, I'm doing all that I can to manifest some good woo woo stuff! 

This is exactly what I want! 

Dear Universe, 


Please and thank you!!


Love, 


Wendi

365 Day Photo Project - Day 49

Work

Work

Part of the job that I'm assigned to at the moment is inspecting the print on these little parts that eventually go on to bigger parts.  These particular pieces are a part of some sort of machine used in the medical field. 

Monday, February 21, 2011

365 Day Photo Project - Day 48

Quick Sketch

Quick Sketch

This is my son doing a quick sketch while we were at the restaurant this evening.  He really is amazingly talented.  I am very proud of him.

Friday, February 18, 2011

What's In A Name?

I've been asked quite a bit about my name ever since changing it back in 2001. 

My last name is a chosen name. 

When my son was around the age of 9, my then girlfriend and I decided that it would be best if all of us had the same last name.  We weren't particularly connected to the names we had at the time and if anything happened to my son and she had to pick him up no one would ask questions.  So, we decided to use a book called 365 Goddess: A Daily Guide To The Magic And Inspiration of The Goddess to find our new last name.  We wanted it to have meaning. 

Each one of us read through the book and chose a name that we thought might be fitting.  Then we would show all three choices to our friends and family and ask them which one they thought fit us best.  Unfortunately, I can't seem to recall which names she and I choose buy my son choose Kali.  All of our friends chose Kali, as well.  The Kali family was 'born'.

Turns out, it was perfect for us. 

This is what the book said about Kali.

**************************


February 24
Festival of Shiva (India)

Kali

Themes: Rebirth; Cycles; Joy; Courage; Hope; Cleansing; Change

Symbols: Flowers; Dance; Iron; Sword; Peacock Feathers; Honey

About Kali: Kali, a Hindu goddess whose name means “time”, is the genetrix of natural forces that either build or destroy.  Even in destruction, however, she reminds us that good really can come of bad situations.  If you find your hopes and dreams have been crushed, Kali can change the cycle and produce life out of nothingness.  Where there is sorrow, she dances to bring joy.  Where there is fear, she dances in courage.

To Do Today: Hindus gather today at Shiva’s temples to honor his celestial dance of creation, and Kali dances with them in spirit.  Beforehand, they fast and bathe in holy waters for purification.  Doing similarly (in your tub or shower) will purge your body and soul of negitive influences.  Add some flower petals or sweet perfume to the bath to invoke Kali’s cleansing power.
            To invoke Kali’s assistance in bringing new life to stagnant projects or ruined goals, leave her an offering of honey or flowers, and make this Kali amulet: Take any black cloth and wrap it around a flower dabbed with a drop of honey, saying:
           
            Kali, turn, dance, and change.
            Fate rearrange.
            End the devastation and strife;
            What was dead return to life.

            Carry this with you until the situation changes, then bury it with thankfulness.

365 Day Photo Project - Day 46

Early Bloomers

Early Bloomers

Thursday, February 17, 2011

365 Day Photo Project - Day 45

Full Moon

Full Moon

The moon is gorgeous tonight.  I finally broke out my tripod for this photo.

365 Day Photo Project - Day 44

So, obviously I've fallen behind in my project.  I've been thinking about how to rectify the situation but haven't come up with anything other than, "I took some days off."  I'm not happy about it but there's no sense in beating myself up over it so I'll just go from here.  

Scrabble With Friends

Scrabble With Friends

We obviously didn't play by the rules and it was rad!  So much laughter and silliness!  

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Does Being Butch Mean I Want To Be A Guy?


The short answer to this is ‘No’. 

However, I feel like expanding on this a bit. 

I spent this morning surfing the web and came across a few sites and video blogs of Butches talking about this very subject.  It’s something that I’ve thought about quite often and I imagine most straight people wonder about when they see a Butch woman.  Since I came out later in life I remember wondering this same thing.  Given the gender stereotypes we tend to grow up with, I guess it’s a valid question. 

A few years back I spent some time thinking about how I felt about my body and whether or not I felt comfortable being me, being a woman.  Was I really just trying to be a guy?  Was I trans?  Growing up I played with trucks and Hot Wheels, wanted to play sports that typically only guys could play, daydreamed about being the hero, the tough guy in the movies and on television.  So did that mean I wanted to be a guy?

My answer was ‘no’.  While it’s true that my mental picture of my body, or the body that I am working towards, looks more like a guys in the sense that I am working towards more muscle, it doesn’t mean that I actually want to be a guy.  I like my body.  I like being a woman.  I like passing as a man.  I like being able to move between genders.

I like being Butch.

Dressing in men’s clothes, having a man’s haircut, being more masculine, being a gentleman and even using binders or packing does not mean that I want to be a guy.  I am a woman who is more comfortable wearing these things, doing these things and presenting as masculine.  It’s a difficult dichotomy to understand. 

Honestly, I think that part of it is the mystery that is me.  The mystery that I create by being a Butch woman.  The confusion that I create in this existence.  Part of me is kind of a shit and likes to mess with people’s heads and the other part of me just wants people to wake the hell up and realize that we don’t all fit into those gender stereotypes that we grew up with.  We can all move through the gender binary fluidly.  Back and forth between feminine and masculine.  You can be a femme one day and butch it up the next! 

We are individuals with our own identity.  Express it!  Embrace it!  Love it!  Just be you.

So, I’m curious.  What do you think when you see a Butch woman?  If you identify as Butch, how do you feel about this?  Or, even if you don’t identify as Butch, what do you think about this?

Friday, February 11, 2011

365 Day Photo Project - Day 42

Skeleton

Skeleton

This afternoon I spent some time in the back yard throwing the ball for my roommate's dog when I happened across this little gem.  It was practically at my feet. 

Getting the focus just right was difficult and I was losing light so this is the best shot out of about fifteen.  I need to work on holding my breath when I shoot delicate things like this.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

365 Day Photo Project - Day 41

Hi! Hi! Hi!

Hi! Hi! Hi!

As I was sitting in my car today at lunch eating an amazingly yummy lunch and enjoying the peacefulness, I looked up in the trees and found this branch.  I started chuckling because it looked like the tree was waving hello to me.  In my head I heard, 'Hi! Hi! Hi!'

Hi!

365 Day Photo Project - Day 40

Hidden Wetlands

Hidden Wetlands

This little hidden gem is behind the building I work in now.  I couldn't resist the sun's rays and had to walk around in them during lunch and happened across this nice spot.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

365 Day Photo Project - Day 36

New Boots

New Boots

Today some very good friends of mine took me to the Danner Factory Store here in Portland and bought me a new pair of boots.  My last pair couldn't be resoled because of the way they were made.  These will be able to be resoled, thank goodness.

Friday, February 4, 2011

365 Day Photo Project - Day 35

Sun Break

Sun Break

I snapped this while waiting at a light on a freeway off ramp.  The sky was just too beautiful this evening.  I couldn't resist.

Changing In The Car...or...The Women's Locker Room At The Gym

So many things got me thinking this week that I don’t know what to write about first.  My PTSD associated with the women’s locker room at the gym, hearing a past love say she made a mistake when she broke up with me and I will forever be the one that got away or the simple, yet complicated, dichotomy of being a butch woman and what that means to my existence in the world in general.  (Holy long sentence, Batman!)

I think I’ll start with the women’s locker room at the gym. 

Now, there are lots of times when I am more than willing to ‘fight the good fight’ as far as being gay or butch or a woman is concerned but there are other times when all I want to do is get through something or, in this case, change into my workout clothes or just pee.  This is where the women’s locker room at the gym comes in.  As you may have already read in one of my previous posts regarding public restrooms, I have sort of a hate-hate relationship with them.  It’s something that’s very hard to understand unless you’ve had to deal with it.

This past Monday I decided to stop at the gym on my way home from work.  Since I normally change at home then head to my workout, I needed to find some place to change out of my jeans and into my warm up pants.  After realizing how upset I was getting just thinking about going into the locker room to change, I decided to just change my pants in the car after parking in the lot.  I parked far enough away from everyone and figured that if anyone did happen to walk by they probably wouldn’t see much since it was dark. 

After changing I sat there for a moment thinking about the situation and decided to share it with everyone by posting a status update on my Facebook and Twitter page.  “My relationship with the women’s locker room at the gym is so bad that I would rather change my pants in the car.  Which is what I just did.”

The responses to that post are what got me thinking about it even more.  Everyone was very supportive of my predicament and no one thought it was ok for me to feel the way I do about this.  As a matter of fact, one of the 24 Hour trainers that my buddy is working with had a fit over it. 

As more and more comments were posted I began to feel this sense of duty.  Self inflicted, mind you, but the feeling was still there.  That feeling of ‘if I don’t do this, who will?’ sort of thing.  As one of my friends sort of put it, my going in to the women’s locker room would be some sort of ‘exposure therapy’ for the women who frequent the place.  The more I use it to change, the more they see a woman who looks like a guy and wears boxer briefs in the locker room, the more ok with it they’ll be. 

I understand the theory behind it.  Honestly I do.  It’s a lot like being out of the closet and a big theory behind gay pride.  As a butch dyke I feel like I should be doing just this.  Using the women’s locker room without hesitation.  Walking in like I own the place and fuck them if they just can’t get over themselves. 

I’m almost ashamed but I’ve got to say it. 

Sometimes I just don’t want to fight the good fight.  Sometimes I just want to go work out and be left alone and not worry about whether or not the gym has a unisex bathroom so I can pee or change without encountering some wacked out woman who wants to attack me because she thinks I’m in the wrong locker room.

Is that wrong?  Am I slacking in my duties as a butch dyke?  What do you think about all of this?

Thursday, February 3, 2011

365 Day Photo Project - Day 34

Killer Burger

Killer Burger

Otherwise known as My New Obsession. 

Ever since this tiny burger joint opened up in Northeast Portland I had been curious about it.  Their online menu mentioned nothing about a veggie patty option so I ruled them out for a bit until a friend of mine told me they do have that option for all of their burgers.  I tried it for the first time a few weeks ago and have fallen madly in love with the place.  A huge burger and tons of fries for just under $8. 

Tonight I introduced my son to the place.  Good food and good company.